Hurricane Ivan was the 10th most intense Atlantic hurricane ever recorded. The cyclone was also the sixth hurricane and the fourth major hurricane of the active 2004 Atlantic hurricane season. Ivan formed as a Cape Verde-type hurricane in early September and became the ninth named storm, the sixth hurricane, and the fourth major hurricane of the year. It had reached Category 5 strength on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale, the strongest possible category. At its peak in the Gulf of Mexico, Ivan was the size of the state of Texas. It also spawned 117 tornadoes across the eastern United States.
Ivan caused catastrophic damage to Grenada and heavy damage to Jamaica, Grand Cayman, and the western tip of Cuba. After peaking in strength, the hurricane moved north-northwest across the Gulf of Mexico to strike Gulf Shores, Alabama as a strong Category 3 storm, causing significant damage. Ivan dropped heavy rains on the Southeastern United States as it progressed northeast and east through the eastern United States, becoming an extratropical cyclone. The remnant low from the storm moved into the western subtropical Atlantic and regenerated into a tropical cyclone, which then moved across Florida and the Gulf of Mexico into Louisiana and Texas, causing minimal damage. Ivan caused an estimated US$13 billion (2004 USD) in damages to the United States, making it the sixth costliest hurricane ever to strike that country.
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